July 3, 2017 —
China is expected to be the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, rising to 39 percent share, according, to a study by GSMA Intelligence and the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).
The study, “5G in China: Outlook and Regional Comparisons,” which was published at GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai, said operators in China plan phased 5G network testing from 2017 to 2019 before launching commercially in 2020. Fifth Generation wireless connections in China will reach 428 million by 2025, accounting for 39 percent of the 1.1 billion global 5G connections projected by that point.
Chinese operators are expected to deploy ‘standalone’ 5G networks, which will require the construction of new base stations to site 5G equipment, backhaul links and a core network. However, the report notes that another option being considered in several other Asia markets is to deploy 5G technology on existing infrastructure supplemented by targeted small cell deployment in areas of high density, allowing 4G and 5G services to run in parallel.
The rate of 5G network rollout and adoption in China is expected to be slower than it was for 4G, which was deployed in a mature 4G ecosystem, rolling out from 2018 to 2025.
The new report ‘5G in China: Outlook and Regional Comparisons’ is co-authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA, and the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). The report is available to download in English and Chinese language versions.